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Mol Genet Metab. 2006 Dec;89(4):332-8. Epub 2006 Aug 17.

A novel SLC25A20 splicing mutation in patients of different ethnic origin with neonatally lethal carnitine-acylcarnitine translocase (CACT) deficiency.

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Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Hadassah - Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel.


Carnitine-acylcarnitine translocase (CACT) deficiency is a rare disorder of fatty acid oxidation associated with high mortality. Two female newborns of different ethnic origin (the first Anglo-Celtic and the second Palestinian Arab) both died after sudden collapse on day 2 of life. Both had elevated bloodspot long-chain acylcarnitines consistent with either CACT or carnitine palmitoyltransferase II (CPT2) deficiency; the latter was excluded by demonstrating normal CPT2 activity in fibroblasts. Direct sequencing of all SLC25A20 (CACT) gene exons and exon-intron boundaries revealed that Patient 1 was compound heterozygous for a novel c.609-3c>g (IVS6-3c>g) mutation on the paternal allele and a previously described c.326delG mutation on the maternal allele. Patient 2 was homozygous for the same, novel c.609-3c>g mutation. Previously reported SLC25A20 mutations have been almost exclusively confined to a single family or ethnic group. Analysis of fibroblast cDNA by RT-PCR, agarose gel electrophoresis and sequencing of extracted bands showed that both mutations produce aberrant splicing. c.609-3C>G results in exon 7 skipping leading to a frameshift with premature termination seven amino acids downstream. c.326delG was confirmed to produce skipping of exons 3 or 3 plus 4. CACT activity in both patients' fibroblasts was near-zero. For both families, prenatal diagnosis of an unaffected fetus was performed by mutation analysis on CVS tissue in a subsequent pregnancy. Due to the urgency of prenatal diagnosis in the second family, molecular diagnosis was performed prior to demonstration of CACT enzyme deficiency, illustrating that mutation analysis is a rapid and reliable approach to first-line diagnosis of CACT deficiency.

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